Become a master of constructive confrontation

As designers, innovators and entrepreneurs, our mission is always to make people’s lives better. Our design thinking is typically pitched the same way: 'Hey, what you’re currently doing is painful; here’s an easier way'. So when Steve Selzer, a designer manager at Airbnb, suggested at SXSW that 'making things easier' isn’t always a good idea, I thought I'd misheard.

To make his point – that there are unintended consequences to removing all effort from every user experience – Selzer brought up WALL-E, a movie where all the humans are strapped to a motorised chair and eventually unable to see past a screen in front of them. In our world, our desire for everything to be instantaneously easy has caused us to shy away from facing anything tough. But challenges are how we grow. Selzer's solution is to design for confrontation; not only with our customers but our colleagues and even ourselves.

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David’s on a quest for a practical process that anyone can follow.